The trial of Golden Dawn continued Monday with the testimony of former MP Ilias Panagiotaros, during which it became evident that the key objective among the top echelons of Greece’s neo-Nazi party is to deflect responsibility for criminal acts onto members of local party organizations.
Panagiotaros claimed that Giorgos Patelis and Ioannis Kazantzoglou, members of the Nikaia chapter in western Athens, were both ejected from GD following the killing of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas in September 2013. He said that the decision, and similar decisions following an attack on PAME activists around the same time, were taken by GD chief Nikos Michaloliakos without a prior meeting of the party’s disciplinary committee.
Patelis has told the court that he was never ousted from GD. Last week, ex-MP Nikos Michos also claimed that, despite his recommendations, GD never wrote off any members. GD never issued a public statement announcing a decision of this sort.
Asked about his description of migrants as “subhumans,” “scum” and “trash,” Panagiotaros said he was only referring to migrants that commit crimes. However, he added he believed that 99.9 percent of those who enter Greece are criminals.
Asked about photographs of GD members giving Nazi-style salutes, Panagiotaros said that this type of gesture was banned by the party.
In his testimony earlier in the day, former MP Kostas Barbarousis said that the Nazi salute “is the best there is,” adding that “it has been demonized because it was used by Hitler.”